Colorado Wolves

Muley_Stalker

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
1,338
Location
Colorado
It had to happen. They're talking about bringing wolves into Colorado. Hunters need to stay together on this and fight it. The elk will be the losers in this.
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On Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at the next meeting of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, the commissioners will consider a resolution to "oppose wolf reintroduction" in Colorado. I urge you to contact the commission and tell them you DO NOT SUPPORT wolf introduction in Colorado.

The alternatives are shown below. If you hunt, or ever want to hunt big game in CO, this is a HUGE issue. The best alternative for hunters is Alternative 2.

The groups in favor of wolf re-introduction have already sent 3000 emails to the Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Please send your emails to the CPW at

[email protected]

This is an important step in delaying or prohibiting the reintroduction. The pro-wolf people are all over this. We need the help of hunters!

Original version: NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission affirms its support of the Wolf Working Group’s recommendations adopted by the Wildlife Commission in May 2005 and hereby opposes any introduction of Mexican or intentional reintroduction of gray wolves in the State of Colorado.

Alternative Version 1: NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission affirms its support of the Wolf Working Group’s recommendations adopted by the Wildlife Commission in May 2005, recommends that Mexican wolf recovery efforts be confined to the subspecies’ historic range, and emphasizes the importance of bi-national recovery planning with Mexico.

Alternative Version 2: NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission affirms its support of the Wolf Working Group’s recommendations adopted by the Wildlife Commission in May 2005, opposes the intentional release of any wolves into Colorado, recommends that Mexican wolf recovery efforts be confined to the subspecies’ historic range, and emphasizes the importance of bi- national recovery planning with Mexico.

[email protected]
 

JohnCushman

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
12,033
Location
South East Colorado
Just sent my comments....said bears and mt lions are already out of control, so we don't need to introduce yet another predator into the mix if mule deer have any chance of making a rebound in the state. We need to manage our wildlife with sound science, not with what makes people feel good and makes groups happy on billboards. We see what that did with our bear hunting already.
 
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M

MN Public Hunter

Guest
Maybe they will bring some of the 3-4 thousand we have in MN to CO.... :) You know, to even it out a bit.
 

tjones

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2009
Messages
3,830
The search function is your friend, this dead elk had been beat for a decade.
 

Greenhorn

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Messages
7,845
Location
Montana
I was really unhappy with the wolf idea when we couldn't hunt them. Now, I'm okay with it. We can buy 5 tags a year and hunt them for 7 months.
 

Oak

Expert
Joined
Dec 23, 2000
Messages
13,585
Location
Colorado
Article from the local paper last Friday:

Huffing and puffing over wolves

But Malone contends there’s room in the state for wolves and that they can restore ecological health to landscapes, something they’ve accomplished at Yellowstone National Park. To do that, she said, their populations need to be abundant enough and widely distributed enough.

“Colorado can support about 1,000 wolves and that’s what we would like to see restored to Colorado,” Malone said....

Malone contends hunting hasn’t been harmed by wolves. She said that contrary to concerns that they decimate elk populations, the two species co-evolved and elk remain abundant with wolves on the landscape.

She estimated that 1,000 wolves in Colorado would eat 20,000 elk a year, compared to 38,000 elk taken by hunters in the state last year.
 

stephenk22

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
79
Location
Wisconsin
I sent my comments in. I really hope they shut this down. Wolf re-introduction has devastated our deer numbers here in Wisconsin
 

Muley_Stalker

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
1,338
Location
Colorado
The search function is your friend, this dead elk had been beat for a decade.

I've kept up on this since 95 when wolves were introduced. It's like global warming, and has two sides who claim to be right. As a hunter i've taken the side that wolves aren't good for elk herds. You should be too. Here's an article for one side.



Will Wolves Wipe Out Montana’s Elk?
Though biologists say no, some hunters say yes. A new study could provide definitive answers. By Tom Dickson
This story is featured in Montana Outdoors
July–August 2002
On a windy morning in late April, John Winnie hikes up a side drainage of the upper Gallatin Canyon, in the northwestern corner of Yellowstone National Park. The 42-year-old Montana State University wildlife biology doctoral candidate keeps his eyes glued to the ground, barren but for scattered patches of clipped Idaho fescue and clumps of sage. In a backpack he carries the tools of his trade: radio receivers, climate condition measurers, binoculars, notebooks, plastic vials, plastic bags. As he nears a remnant snowdrift showing fresh elk tracks, Winnie kneels down to scoop a handful of fresh, marble-sized elk pellets into a vial.
“This,” he notes wryly, “is the glamorous part of the job.”
Collecting elk droppings may not put Winnie on the cover of Scientific American, but the information he gathers from analyzing hormones in the feces could help determine how Montana’s biologists manage both elk and wolves in the future—no minor achievement. He and MSU graduate student Justin Gude are taking part in a five-year multi-agency study begun in 2000 that aims to determine what effect the wolf population expanding north and west from Yellowstone National Park will have on Montana’s prized elk herds. As federal delisting of the wolf appears to near, management authority could soon revert from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the states where wolves thrive. When that happens, state biologists will need to factor in wolf predation as they decide how best to manage elk and other ungulate (hoofed mammal) populations.
“There’s a great deal of uncertainty right now,” says Kurt Alt, a FWP biologist at Bozeman, the epicenter of a growing controversy over wolves and elk. “This is the first time biologists in Montana have had to really deal with a situation like this, where basically wolves have been dumped in our lap. Right now there just isn’t enough data on wolves and elk for us to make the best possible management decisions.”
Information already exists
Many hunters, however, say plenty of information currently exists showing that wolves are devastating elk populations. Some of their main concerns:
• The number of wolves is growing and the population is spreading. Recent counts in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem showed 218 wolves, up substantially from the 31 introduced to the park in 1995-96. Statewide, Montana has at least 100 wolves, which includes wolves spreading south from established populations in the state’s northwestern region and those moving north from Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho.
• The current northern Yellowstone elk herd count of 11,969 is down from last year’s count of 13,400 and well below the historic peak of 19,000 in the mid-1990s. This herd gets the most attention because of its large size and important late-season harvest as the animals move north from the park in winter.
• Of greatest concern, say local hunters, is the decline in calves, which they blame on wolf depredation and say indicates a weakened population that can’t sustain itself. They point to a 1997 University of Michigan study of the northern Yellowstone elk herd that showed a link between low elk calf numbers and both high wolf densities and expanding wolf populations. What’s more, surveys by Yellowstone National Park biologists this past spring found an average of 14 elk calves per 100 cows in the northern Yellowstone elk herd, the lowest ratio in decades. Generally this ratio, or “recruitment rate,” has been 20 to 30 calves per 100 cows in recent years.
“I can understand why the wildlife professionals can’t be definitive about this,” says Rep. Joe Balyeat, whose district covers the Gallatin Canyon, “but the evidence seems to strongly suggest that the low calf:cow ratio is being caused by wolves.”
That, in turn, could lead to an elk disaster, says a citizen’s group called Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd (FNYEH). Based mainly on member observations, the group says Yellowstone’s elk population is on the verge of collapse and that southwestern Montana elk herds may be next. “It’s going to crash,” says FNYEH president Bill Hoppe, who lives near Gardiner along the park’s northern border. “It won’t take much longer.”
Record elk numbers
Biologists aren’t buying the imminent, widespread elk apocalypse scenario, however. Tom Lemke, FWP wildlife biologist at Livingston, notes that even though wolf numbers are increasing, Montana’s elk populations are currently at record highs in parts of the state. “In the four hunting districts that surround Living-ston, we’ve got more elk than we’ve ever had since we began counting in 1974,” Lemke says.
In one of his districts, elk numbers have grown from 100 to 1,400 in the past 28 years. And in most of the state’s south-central region, elk numbers are so high that this fall Montana FWP will allow an unprecedented cow elk harvest to bring the population in line with available habitat and landowner tolerance.
Regarding fears of a declining northern Yellowstone elk population, biologists say they consider the 19,000 figure to be a nonsustainable extreme. “We can’t manage wildlife at their historic
population highs,” says Alt, who adds that the Yellowstone herd’s 35-year population average is about 14,000 elk.
Biologists also point out that the Yellowstone herd differs significantly from other Montana elk herds, primarily because it is protected from harvest except during the late hunting season.
“Yellowstone elk,” notes Lemke, “endure harsh winter conditions, live in a predator-rich environment, and have a population that fluctuates from 10 to 40 percent annually.” This population differs from Montana’s managed (hunted) populations, which have fewer natural predators, less winterkill, and yearly population fluctuations of only 5 to 15 percent. Adds Lemke: “The Yellowstone scenario may not be a good predictor of what will happen in the rest of Montana.”
As for elk recruitment, wildlife experts agree the low calf:cow ratio is troubling, but they don’t agree that wolves are the only or even the main cause. Ken Hamlin, FWP’s elk researcher, notes that elk recruitment rates dropped throughout Montana this year, even in areas with no wolves.
“We know wolves are having an impact, because they eat red meat for a living,” Hamlin says. “But at this stage we can’t say what proportion of it is due to any specific cause. For all we know, some of the decline could be due to mountain lions, grizzlies, the long-term drought, high densities of elk reaching their maximum forage carrying capacity, or other factors. Something has to account for the decline in calf:cow ratios in areas that have few or no wolves.”
 
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